Introduction: Super Long Ethernet Cable

Picture of Super Long Ethernet Cable

Do you have a really long cat.5 cable laying around with no ends well if you do I can show you an easy way to use that long cable for a really long high speed ethernet cable.

Step 1: Get the Stuff!!

you will need the following

One standard lenghth cat. 5 ethernet cable

The stock cat. 5 cable of your desired length

Pin nose pliers

Electrical tape

knife of some sort.

Step 2: Cut the Standard One in Half Cleanly

Picture of Cut the Standard One in Half Cleanly

Just fold the short cable in half and cut it with clips or a knife.

Then cut off about an inch of the insulation off both cut ends.

Step 3: Clean Off the Ends

Picture of Clean Off the Ends

Expose each individual wire on every end of all your wire ends.
Just enough to twist each together
Do the same to your stock wire

Step 4: Now for the Splicing

Picture of Now for the Splicing

You have to match the colors on each wire and twist them individually. ( if you want you could solder each wire but that would take a lot of work)
There is a chart of the colors at the bottom of this site.
There is a couple wires that are hard to tell what they are.
When you twist one together use electrical tape to shut it off or you could fry something maybe....

Step 5: After Doing Each Side

Picture of After Doing Each Side

now rap the whole but off your twisties together with a good amount of tightly wound electrical tape

Step 6: Test It

Test it on something that isn`t as important so it doesn`t mess something up.
I am not responsible for any shorts that probably has to do with matching the colors wrong...


coveylane (author)2016-11-19

Jeez.. you try to help someone and all you get is complaints.... even about building inspectors. If you are used to doing things yourself and a building inspector goes to your house, he'll probably shut you down long before he gets to your ethernet cable.

coveylane (author)2016-11-19

Thank you.

Your instructions worked great for me... no problems.

prototype_mechanic (author)2016-04-03

i'm righting articles abaut csbles/technologies....
those wires are used in gigabit connection. ethernet 2pairs, gigabit 4pairs. also thise pairs csn be used as second link, trunk, poe...
on photo my cable 130m long in gigabit mode

sorry for mistakes. my phone correct me in a strange way

Klaudiuszm (author)2012-03-10

I like the idea but it seems a bit excessive. Why not just strip away some of the insulation and crimp the cable? It seems the more professional and it would probably be stronger. Although, for those who need a long cable and do not have crimping tools, I suppose that this is a possibility.

sokamiwohali (author)2012-01-20

Refering to a comment you said a few comments down, just because its DIY doesnt mean that doing it the RIGHT way to prevent potential probs. down the road is not DIY. if YOU crimp the connections...YOUR Doing It Your self.

The problem you run into with CATV cable at great distances is that after so many feet, the signal becomes weak. when this happens, you might as well have signed up for dial-up internet. you see After so many feet when the signal starts to drop off, you need an amplifier that makes the signal carry on longer. The same thing goes for Coaxial Cable. except the signal dropoff is more sever with COAX.

lperkins (author)2011-12-04

Ok. Two things here:

First, don't plug this into any network that you don't personally control without permission. That kind of splice is extremely susceptible to interference, potentially causing packet corruption, which can screw up not only your connection, but possibly those of other people on the network. Modern equipment is better at filtering out bad packets than the older stuff, but it can still cause unpredictable issues that are hard to track down. If you use one of these in your dorm room don't be surprised if you suddenly find that your network connection has been shut off. Also don't be surprised if your network throughput goes to heck since interference will mangle your packets and they may have to be resent several times.

Second, the length limit for wired ethernet connections is 100m. (64 byte-times multiplied by the speed of electricity through copper.) This includes any cable that may be in the wall between you and the network switch. Attaching a long cable that puts the total length over this distance will cause what are called "late collisions" which can potentially bring down large segments of the network and are very difficult to track down.

Your best bet is usually to go down to the nearest Home Depot equivalent where they sell bulk communications cable and get whatever length you need along with a crimper and a box of plugs. You can probably earn enough making custom-length cords for your friends to pay for the tools.

Your second-best bet is to get one of the splice connectors that let you plug a cable into each end and just hook your two cables together. The connectors usually cost less than a dollar.

If you find you _must_ splice a cable in this manner, keep the amount you untwist it as short as possible (about a centimetre if you're dexterous) and solder the wires together, preferably without twisting them around each other. Then polish the solder joints to assure that there are no sharp points which will emit and pick up interference. Then coat each joint individually with fingernail polish and wrap it in electrical tape. Then borrow a cable tester and see how good a job you did. If it meets Cat3 standards, then it will handle 10MB/s. Cat5 will handle 100MB/s. Higher than that should be capable of gigabit. Set the speed of your network card accordingly.

gamer (author)2008-02-02

you only need the green, green/w, orange, orange/w for 10/100 base networking. i did this with a telephone wire (4 wires) and i only connected the ones listed, it worked out great. then... i made another one for my mom, and it doesnt work, im gonna have to troubleshoot it. anyways. nice instructable. very detailed, i guess. -gamer ps. i do recomend soldering the wires.

Tachyon (author)gamer2008-08-14

Not quite true. While no data passes on the other wires in 10-100M/bit connections, Gigabit uses all the connections for data. Also, even in 10 and 100 connections, the other lines are grounded and form an RF shield because they are wrapped around the signal lines with a number of twists per inch that is lower than the wavelength of the carrier signal. It works like a Faraday cage in that regard and helps minimize crosstalk. Other posters are correct in that this setup will likely generate a lot of errors and retransmits. I also agree that given how cheap crimp-less connectors are, this project doesn't make a lot of sense except for maybe in an emergency. Also kids, always remember, say no to 568B for new installs. 568A is A-OK. white-green/green, white-orange/blue, white-blue/orange, white-brown/brown Tachyon

Lancealator (author)Tachyon2008-08-20

The point of this instructable is to make a very very cheap cable that will work just fine for internet browsing no more no less

cowen (author)Lancealator2010-04-04

This as a temp cable for one time connection maybe.

BUTT (yes its a big but)  Never use this for  permanent connection.

tagno25 (author)Tachyon2009-10-07

I have NEVER seen 568A in the real world other then on crossover cables.  I only see 568B (even on all the premade cables)

gnume (author)Tachyon2009-07-24

true and if i remember right even cat5e cable uses all 4 pairs between switches and routers to get 200 mb speed between them

freerunnin1 (author)gamer2008-08-20

cn u msg me 2 tell me how u did it cos ive got an old ethernet cable and an EXTREMELY long phone wire

gamer (author)freerunnin12008-08-20

Basically, make sure your phone wire has four (4) and not two (2) wires in it. Then, cut to length, and strip the big outer rubber, and the single little wires. Then do the same for the Ethernet, but only the green, green-white, brown, brown-white.... Choose which connects to which, and your on a roll! Message me to tell me your results, Thanks! -gamer

gamer (author)gamer2008-08-20

Oh, don't forget to tape everything correctly and safely to make sure there is no shorts.

Lancealator (author)2008-02-02

yeah I did this for a desktop computer that was using wireless that was weak and sometimes didnt work so this was a great solution since it actually woked

cowen (author)Lancealator2010-04-04

Actually worked......

I have many of those customers.

I like them the mess makes my bills every month.

There is a right way to do it with out short cutting.

I specialize in IT and what you did would not increase the resale value of your house/business.  Doing the job right does.

An inspector seeing that would red tag you and until it was fixed right would prevent you from resale or occupancy.

Now you say its low voltage... right and no license is required to do the work but an inspector is not looking at what KINDA wire it is just if it looks professionally done and safe.  Again since I have a business doing this I have to work with the Building and Fire marshal and many times they have no idea what computer cable is so I have a time to explain with a CODE book that they are wrong and why.

Krade (author)2009-08-04

Longer the cable, the worse your connection.

tyler9613 (author)Krade2009-11-09

No. Cat5 can retain 100 MBPS up to 100 meters or ~328 feet.

You meant to say- Longer the untwisted length, the worse your connection.


cowen (author)tyler96132010-04-04

Right 328' is the total legth including patch cords and the cable in the middle.

I have seen runs up to 1000' that are in use.

The Fluke fails it since not one part is to spec but connectivity wise it will work.

100M is not possible to the equipment.

10M works but not well.

the customers site has many of these and experiences so many dropped resent packets that productivity is no existent.

Use fibre if you need to go more then 300'

I have used switches/hubs as extenders in a pinch every 320' .  The customer paid nearly the same as if they would have installed fibre.  But the on site Tech could replace a switch/hub when one went bad.

Jeebiss (author)2008-08-18

Yeeaah, horrible idea. The interference in intensely bad when you do that. The wires are wrapped inside as a type of shielding, you have just defeated that and now leave yourself with a staticy connection. The correct solution is to buy RJ45 cable heads, and a pair of crimpers and do it right.

magoocas (author)Jeebiss2009-11-06

YES Finally some reason, this is a very BAD BAD BAD idea. Don't do this.


cotton (author)magoocas2009-11-11

 its called a cernamic noise canceling ring XD put em at both ends ;P

dudeman999 (author)Jeebiss2008-12-24

Agreed! No offense but this is a bad idea. Crimping ends takes a little more patience than this but not much and you get a much better signal. Cost difference between doing this and crimping is negligible. Ideally, no more than 1" of the pairs should be untwisted.

drac_uul (author)2009-07-25

that is old.... you can buy a crimper and then crimp them themself. whiteorange-orange-whitegreen-blue-whiteblue-green-whitebrown-brown and i have try for more than 50 m cable and its work

bwpatton1 (author)2009-03-23

It is really very simple to just buy a crimper and then crimp them themselfs, trust me I just learned how to do this last monday and I already have a wired home network set up (and im 13)

Lancealator (author)bwpatton12009-03-23

I trust you but this cost me nothing and Im glad you have the money to spend it on tools that aren`t necessary. This website isn`t about doing it the professional way but doing it the way that simply works. Hence the DIY phrase

grue (author)Lancealator2009-07-18

using electrical tape for internet connections is probably not smart, since if you didn't connect the wires properly and after a few days/months/years, one of connections becomes loose, you internet is going to go down and you won't know what happened

Davecarp (author)grue2009-07-19

I agree with bwpatton1, crimping the connectors on the cable would be much easier and alot more reliable. and i thought this website was about doing fun projects and making stuff yourself, this doesnt mean we have to revert back to the stone age and use such basic tools

GorillazMiko (author)2008-02-02

Awesome, I really need one, then I can play Xbox LIVE on the BIG SCREEN, instead of the 32 inch or whatever. Nice job, hope I can try this out.

You have an xbox 360?

freerunnin1 (author)2008-08-20

try shrink wrap and a hair dryer it works wonders lol

jadler (author)2008-03-14

The easiest and most reliable solution would be to put a standard Cat5e connector at each end of the cable. It is really easy to do, there are even tool less connectors (you will not need the usual crimp tool), and it is cheap. Even if you just buy 10 you can get them for less than $0.30 each. Much less work, much more reliable.

richms (author)2008-02-04

I put 2 plugs on a full box of cat5e cable (305m) and it worked fine despite being 3 times the recommended length. When I plugged 2 gigabit machines together I did have to lock the speed to 100/full duplex since they would link and drop and link and drop all the time instead of actually working, but at 100 meg it was fine.

!Andrew_Modder! (author)2008-02-02

lol i did this with a telephone cable, but gave up cause it was agervating stripping the small small wires :-(.

iTHROWDOWN (author)2008-02-01

im pretty sure that after a certain length the cord wont be as fast as you want it to be

pingthis (author)iTHROWDOWN2008-02-02

150 meters is the max for a properly terminated Cat5e cable. Properly being the operative word. The instructable here is a hack s not have proper tools to put ends on a naked cable. You will most likely generate lots errors with this method and your network card will spend more time with error correction and retransmission than actual transmission of valid data. Oh well, if it works. ;)

grapestain (author)iTHROWDOWN2008-02-02

Of course it won't be... The longer cable the lower transfer rate. But sometimes it can be more important to have a connection than have a high speed connection. For example 10Mbps can be far enough to share an Internet connection or something.

About This Instructable




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